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For information on Lake Michigan Fisheries contact:
Bradley Eggold

Root River Report

Steelhead at Root River

The following information is the latest fishing information for the Root River in Racine. We will post new information to this site every TUESDAY at 4:00 pm from September through December and from March through May. We will also update the number of fish processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility to give you the exact number of fish passed upstream. Depending on water conditions and number of fish in the weir, fish are usually processed on Mondays and Thursdays.

In addition, you can call our Lake Michigan Fishing Hotline at (414) 382-7920 to hear the latest fishing information for Lake Michigan and its tributaries or check out our Lake Michigan Outdoor Report

Root River Steelhead Facility

Lake Michigan trout and salmon don't successfully reproduce in Wisconsin streams, so DNR gives Mother Nature a hand. Watch fisheries crews collect eggs and milt from spawning fish to create the next generation of steelhead to challenge anglers on the big pond.

Root River Fishing Report for September 22nd, 2014

The water level at the Horlick Dam decreased from 2.53 feet last week to 2.31 feet on Sunday. The flow rate decreased from 31 cfs to 18 cfs. The water temperature increased from 57F last week to 62F on Sunday. About .1” of rain fell on Monday and an additional .5” fell on Saturday. The water clarity improved this week. Visibility was over 24” from the Horlick Dam downstream to Colonial Park. Visibility was at least 18-24” from Lincoln Park to Island Park. Anglers had an easy time watching large brown trout and chinook swim upstream through Island Park and Lincoln Park over the weekend. The water level was relatively low at the Horlick Dam but high downstream in Washington Park. The river spilled over the top of the temporary wall that was built to protect the drainage pipe project in Washington Park on Sunday. The weather forecast calls for 7 days of dry, sunny weather with day time temperatures between 67-71F.

For up to date river conditions, check out the USGS web site of stream flow conditions [exit DNR]  in Wisconsin.

Fishing Information

  • Above the weir: Fishing pressure above the weir was low during the week. The stop logs are setup across the weir in Lincoln Park so the number of fish swimming past Lincoln Park will be limited. Only a few anglers showed up briefly at the Horlick Dam over the weekend. There were no reports of fish seen or caught at the dam during the week. The fishing pressure was low at Quarry Lake Park as well with 6-8 anglers counted on the river during the weekend. Anglers fished for trout, salmon, panfish, and bass with no reports of fish landed. A 20 pound chinook was caught in Colonial Park on Monday by an angler who was casting a small floating rapala for smallmouth bass. 4-5 anglers fished Colonial Park over the weekend but reported that they didn’t catch or see any fish.
  • Below the weir: Fishing pressure below the weir was low during the week but picked up on the weekend. The Steelhead Facility opened for the season on Monday, September 15th.  Stop logs were set up across the weir and the gate to the fish ladder was opened. Approximately 50-60 fish were seen in the holding pen on Sunday and the majority of them were brown trout. Lincoln Park was not crowded on the weekend with 6-8 anglers fishing on average, evenly spread out along the river. One brown trout and one chinook were landed in Lincoln Park over the weekend by anglers casting red and red/black flies. The fishing pressure and the catch rate were higher in Island Park. At least 5-6 brown trout and 4-5 kings were landed over the weekend. Brown/black flies took most of the kings. A chartreuse streamer fly, a polar shrimp, and an orange/black fly worked well on the brown trout. Around 10-12 anglers were seen in Washington Park early Saturday morning. A few chinook were landed by the Cable Bridge during the week and 3 chinook were landed on Saturday. A brown trout was landed in Washington Park on Sunday by an angler fly fishing with a single chartreuse egg.

Root River Steelhead Facility Report

  Rainbow Trout Chinook Salmon Coho Salmon Brown Trout
Total Captured        
Passed Upstream      


Taken to Hatchery        
Spawned at Facility        
Egg Take


Last revised: Tuesday September 23 2014